The Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Hacked Blog – F.A.Q. & important information

Welcome to my blog for the Casltevania: SOTN – Hacked project. Seeing as how I seem to get asked the SAME questions, over and over again, I figured I would create this quick little FAQ to answer the most common ones about what my goal is with my project, as well as addressing many of the commonly asked questions about it.
I AM NOW TAKING DONATIONS TO HELP PAY FOR SPRITE WORK! They can be made to my paypal account under esco1979@cfl.rr.com. Here is a post with some demo vids up of 2 new bosses I have already had sprited for me! These cost over $500 total which is why I can now use all the donations I can get: https://sotnhacked.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/donations-now-open-also-a-video-of-pazuzu-cyclops-and-the-color-rotationpalette-shader-in-use/
First off some useful links:
  1. The latest release of the engine (just an old demo done in GameMaker) is here: http://www.mediafire.com/?b4v9r67c9lyiydi
  2. Here is the source for it: http://www.mediafire.com/?emc312szkft54y2
  3. Here is the blog post with info about the release: https://sotnhacked.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/release-a14-r2-of-the-castlevania-sotn-hacked-engine-is-out/
  4. And here is where bug reports go: https://sotnhacked.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/place-all-bug-reports-here/
  5. For a LONG and detailed post on what I have planned for the engine, please look here: https://sotnhacked.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-the-hackengine/
  6. For the deviant art page, look here: http://esco1979.deviantart.com/

Please be sure to read this before asking any questions because anyone who asks one of the questions that is located and answered in this faq, runs the risk of basically being ignored on here.

ALSO PLEASE NOTE: this 2D project has been moved to the Unity3D engine!

First some quick rules:

  1. Do not put up more than one post in a row on any topic UNLESS the post is over 3 days old; if you have something extra to add please edit your old post rather than double posting. The first time this is done, I will merely delete the post. The second time you will be called out on it, the third time you get blocked. Please do not spam me; nice and simple.
  2. Do not say things about me losing interest in the hack and dropping it, or the project getting shut down, blocked, taken over by aliens, etc. That is my problem not yours, and the negativity is not welcome.
  3. Do not ask for updates or demos for the hack….. PERIOD! You will get them when everyone else does.
  4. Do not try to add me on MSN, Yahoo, AIM, Facebook, Myspcace, etc. without speaking to me first. Unless you are assisting with the hack, or you are a personal friend to me I will not even consider doing so. You can communicate with me on here; that is what the blog is for. If you attempt to add me anywhere else and you do not fit into the criteria I mentioned above, you will be blocked on the spot without warning. Sorry if this sounds negative, but it is what it is. 🙂

Now on to the questions:

  1. I want to contribute: is there some way that I can assist with the hack?
    ANSWER: There absolutely is: I need people to rip sounds, make shaders, and I could always use anyone who has artistic skills, or is really good with unity or coding in C# in general. I don’t want people to code for me (I am the only one who will be coding the game, since besides myself only the developers of the game have all of the extensive knowledge necessary to duplicate all of the stuff in SOTN) but if you have a lot of C# coding skill you can contact me, and I am sure that there would be many things we could come up with together.
    If you want to contribute and are SERIOUS about it, feel free to send me a message here. Not to sound rude, because I appreciate any help that I get (I am actually a very gracious man) but if you volunteer and do not produce, you will no longer be asked for assistance. I have just had too many people offer to help, and then never even finish a single thing and just have excuses
  2. How is this hack being made?
    ANSWER: Initially I was utilizing memhack to find and change things in ram for the PSX version of the game . I graduated to also making ASM changes, and changing things directly in the ISO file from there. However, after over 4 years of working on the thing, it had become apparent that I wasn’t making much ground and that it could take YEARS before the hack could be done.
    This was obviously unacceptable; so I began searching for alternatives and found one: recreating the game in Unity3D. This would not only make it possible for me to do WHATEVER I want, but it would also speed things up enormously, greatly improve compatibility and use less resources. This was initially being done in GameMaker; but that proved WAY too buggy and slow for my tastes.
  3. But Esco, I thought Unity#d was too limited for 2D to do a game like this?
    ANSWER: absolute rubbish; it has joystick support, can do 3d models, has much butter particle control, as well as better collision possibilities, scaling, rotation, transparencies, can use mp3’s, etc. etc. And with its new native 2D features, I just couldn’t say no!
  4. Will I be redoing/using any of the Saturn things?
    ANSWER: I will be redoing the garden to be a totally different area in a difference place. The same with the cursed prison. I will not be using Richter’s sprite from the game; it is god awful. As for Maria, she will include all of her stuff from the PSP version, and some stuff from the Saturn version. I will not be including any of the new enemies from the Saturn except the wraith; 99% of them are god awful and the port sucked in general.
  5. Will Maria be included in the game?
    ANSWER: Yes
  6. Will there be Japanese voice overs in the game in addition to English ones, or will you use the voices from the PSP game?
    ANSWER: At first no. I am really not concerned with this, and many fans just didn’t seem to care if we had dual language support. And I plan on using the PSP voice clips for the English dialogue.
  7. Will I be able to play the “hack” on **insert system name here?**
    ANSWER: if your system can run a normal PC exe file… then yes. I do not know if there will be a mac version at this time.
  8. Will you be providing bug fixes/updates after the hack is released?
    ANSWER: Definitely! Although I will try my best to find all the bugs that I can, I am not perfect and I recognize that people will probably find stuff that I missed. I see no point in releasing a game if I am not going to be responsible and maintain it.
  9. Will there be any new areas in the castle?
    ANSWER: Yes.
  10. Will there be any new items/weapons/bosses?
    ANSWER: Yes
  11. Will Richter and Maria have a whole playable game?
    ANSWER: Yes; they will both have an inventory, equipables, relics, and their own unique abilities and spells. They will also be able to fight all of the same bosses that Alucard can fight.
  12. When will the hack be released?
    ANSWER: as I have always said: when it is done
  13. Can I have an update on **insert something here**
    ANSWER: asking for updates, mentioning my project being shutdown by whatever or whoever, or being a troll in general will get you automatically blocked!!!!! All updates are put up on here, and if you are a personal friend then you know of other more private ways to ask me stuff. 🙂
  14. Esco, can you put **insert item here* into your game? I think it would be sooooo cool and I would love you forever, LOLOLOL!
    ANSWER: I only take suggestions and requests from people who have contributed to the project and will assist me with making it. If you are not one of them, then the answer is hell no. lol
  15. Can I be a bugtester for you?
    ANSWER: NO…… HELL NO….. HELL MOTHERFUCK NO!!!! Lol. I say this because the majority of you who ask me this are just hoping to get your hands on the game before everyone else, and will not provide me any real play testing data.
    In the future, when I do need bug testers, they will only be provided the portion of the game that they are testing. And that will be all, to ensure that they focus on actual TESTING and not on just PLAYING! 😉
More questions to come as I get them and deem it necessary to place them up here. Thanks for reading.
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Posted in General | 83 Comments

Update 4/11/15: Recreating Alucard’s sprites (artists needed)

Yes I know it’s been a bit since I updated. Long story short: started off working in the accounting industry, graduating with my BA in 3 weeks, was working 3 jobs for several months and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, stuff you guys don’t care about. But with school ending for good I will finally have a lot more time to work on my engine. Thank god! 😀

So let’s get to the point: I’ve decided to expand on the idea of combos even more and put in ones for each of the weapon types similar to the 3d Castlevania’s. This would mean more sprites would need to be made starting with Alucard; however when that idea crossed my mind, another one did as well. I have been for the longest wanting to redo Alucard’s sprites. While I like the original, it really doesn’t look like him at all and is about 20 years old. I’ve wanted to add more detail to him for the longest and just have him look more hi-res. And I figured if I need more made, might as well make sure I am not going to have to pay to have them done now, and then later in an updated form.

Several problems come with this: first is making sure he still fits in with the rest of the game’s sprites/backgrounds. And second was finding an artist that can redo his approximately 300 sprites at an affordable rate. A while back a former artist of mine Mario Santos came up with this awesome looking sprite (circled in red; the big one is his too but I of course cannot use that in game):

 

 

new alucard

 

I honestly like it a lot; with the exception of the 5 gray pixels above his crotch that make up the bottom of his waistcoat that look like an inverted penis. But that is a SMALL and easily fixable thing. I would honestly like to see what else people could come up with, but this is so far the ABSOLUTE best one I have seen.

With that being said  I have gone forward and began having his sprites remade. The problem is so far, some of what I have had done just feels……… off somehow. The artist is very talented and trying his best but several things just don’t look right. So I figured I would put the animations up and see what you guys think. I basically showed him the original versions on Alucard’s sprite sheet and had him remake them. Please note that the bright green and pink on the cape is for coding purposes in unity to recolor it.

Feedback is definitely wanted for these:

Idle (boot & leg look funny to me when he stands up straight near end): IDLE

 

Idle on a slope (plays in SOTN when he is walking and stops on a slope before the walk starts looping)

idleSlope

Charging up MP ( both of them just don’t look right to me; we have a slow one when he first starts holding up to recharge MP, and then a quicker one for when he starts restoring it faster):

wsh5

wig3

Posing to use a sub (this is basically when you hold up originally in SOTN):

posing to use sub

If anyone feels they can improve them feel free to contact me and we will arrange to speak on Skype so you can show me what you can do. This would be a paid position of course.

Any donations would, of course, be very welcome (since this is getting costly fast and I have already put about a grand of my own funds into this project) and could be made to esco1979@cfl.rr.com via paypal.

On a side note: if anyone knows who the artist is who made the image below, please let me know how to reach him. I am interested in paying him to redo classic Richter for the intro just like this:

oldrichterremake_zps2f817c53

Posted in Sprites (enemies, items, candles, etc.) | 42 Comments

Update 12/2/14: current donations amount, and the next new boss being sprited!

Well since my last post I have been hard at work finishing off my semester and working on the engine in between. Luckily my last final is tomorrow, and then I will have a month off to work on it more. Since the previous post some more people were generous enough to donate, which  I want say thank you for!
 
Donations since previous update: $60
Total Donations towards sprites: $130
 
Coding wise, I did several new things that involved me learning all new features in Unity. This of course, slowed my progress down some. Here is a partial list of some of the updated stuff:
  • fixed some bugs here and there (mostly due to mecanim not updating instantly in Unity when changes are made to it)
  • tweaked alucard’s hanging from the roof animation after a high jump to be cancellable by a dive kick or his charging move.
  • Completed the combo system that will allow you to cancel a fist/knife attack with a sword/club attack, then that with a spear, then that with a sub, then a critical, then lastly a crash or special.
  • Increased the speed on fist/knife attacks
  • Made a couple of tweaks to the screen render to make the game look even more hi-res
  • implemented special move controls (tapping forward twice, tapping back then forward, double tapping down, and charging up then doing a fireball motion which probably won’t even be used). As you can see I kept all of them VERY simple and easy to use.
  • I actually tweaked the controls some so that now you have 3 attack buttons: one for fists/knives, one for swords/clubs, and one for spears.
  • The following critical arts controls were implemented along with Alucard’s animations for them: valmanway, shield rod, blue knuckles, Holbein dagger, marsil, and javelin (all ground and aerial versions)
  • The following special moves controls were implemented along with Alucard’s animations: black lightning, astral slash (teleport slash with alucard sword), soul steal. These are all ground moves only.
  • Alucard’s slide was also coded in using the new wolf sprites I had made by my artist; this required making 3 different animations, and then testing them all on different slope levels to ensure that everything still looks good at all times while using blend trees.
  • Added in the wolf object, to be a child object under Alucard. This object then has 2 more child objects: front half and back half. Which then each have yet two more child objects separated into body and legs categories, with their appropriate objects as well. This took quite a bit of studying on my part of the original SOTN to figure out how to set it up properly.
  • the slope detection code was done for the wolf; this is used to know whether the wolf is on a flat surface, going up/down slope, coming off an up/down slope etc. and angle him properly. This sounds easy, but was a pain to get working properly and involved in short, getting the normal of the surface we are standing on, checking distance to a slope vertically or horizontally based on the type we are on, positioning the back legs vertically and also checking to see that they are on a solid enough. Thankfully, it was much easier to do in Unity than GM.
  • Setup some attacks (spear weapon, subs, criticals, etc) to transition from their aerial version, to the ground versions when you land instead of cancelling like fist, knives, swords and club attacks do.
  • Condensed all of Alucard’s character sprites onto one master sheet, and re-setup any necessary animations due to this.
I also  came up with a novel way of having crashes take one button, yet you can do any of them. Which I have always wanted to do, since I want to keep your trips into the menu at a minimum! By holding the crash button first, it then checks for input from any of the other 7 available buttons (Attack1, jump, special, attack2, attack3, block, evade). Based on which one is pressed it will do one of the crashes. If the crash button is just released, it will also do one. This sets it up so that ANY crash can be used quickly and easily (up to 8, which is all I’ll need), without having to switch between them, and at any time. This will be done before the next update.
 
Sprite wise, here is a preview of the newest one being worked on by my sprite artist; the Wyvern:wyvern colorAs you can see I chose to keep the original purple color from DXC, but had the artist make him MUCH more detailed and monstrous than the original. This is a rather large sprite, so it is taking him a bit longer to complete the animations, but I have to say that the amount of detail he has put into it thus far is truly amazing.  (and thus means that I will have to pay more for him too of course; have to keep my artist happy). 
 
 
 
The animations that I am having made are:
  1. Flying
  2. Spitting a fireball
  3. Charging horizontally in the air
  4. Turning in the air during flying
  5. A swooping and grabbing move
  6. Flying horizontally across screen breathing flames (similar to the wyvern in CV: Curse of Darkness)
  7. A move where he charges a huge blast, and fires it at the ground creating a fireball spitting geyser temporarily.
  8. Flaming wing beat attack (behaves similar to its dragon flame attack in Rondo and DXC)
  9. Death
I thought of initially having it land and having ground attacks too, but he already has 6 attacks as is. Which I felt is enough for him since it makes you have to use all of the moves available to you at the early point in the game when you encounter him. Anymore would have been overkill. I may however have him land as part of his death animation.
 
Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!
Posted in Player Character Info (Alucard, Maria, Richter, etc.), Sprites (enemies, items, candles, etc.) | 47 Comments

Your donations at work: new sprites shown inside!

First off thanks A LOT to everyone who donated! Every bit does help!
 
The total donations I have received since putting up my initial post: $70!
 
I know that several people said they would feel more secure having a running tally of how much I’ve received and what I’ve done with it, and I think that is a VERY reasonable request. Especially considering how many thieves are out there. To wit, I will be putting up these posts every so often when I get a few donations in and have new sprites to show off.
 
The newest one that was just fully completed: alucard’s new wolf form! The animations created:
  1. Idle
  2. idle-panting heavy
  3. idle-lip licking
  4. idle-growling
  5. walking
  6. dashing
  7. jumping
  8. double jumping (he actually curls up a bit for this one; it has to be seen to be believed!)
  9. sitting
  10. crouching
  11. biting
  12. wolf charge
  13. falling back off a ledge
  14. turning around
  15. standing pain (yes, getting hit in wolf form won’t knock you out of it now)
  16. crouching pain
  17. aerial pain
  18. new heaven sword attack; on the ground
  19. …. crouching
  20. ….. and in the air
Total Cost: $220…. and worth EVERY PENNY IMHO. Credit goes to Mario Santos for being such a talented and diligent artist!
 
The same artist also edited two animations for Alucard that I had made a while back: his jumping/falling spear ones, and the ani for when he uses summon spirit on the air. These cost about $25 total as well.
 
Here are two animated gifs showing off the wolf; one for idle, and the other for his new jump. I also included a pic of Alucard and his old “robotic” wolf form for comparison’s sake. (please excuse the water mark and blur applied to the ani’s)
Alucard Wolf Compare5 wolfjump-finaldemo wolfidle finaldemo
Once he is coded into UNITY (I had GM written here before by mistake) I will then be showing a video of him too. For now I am finishing off all of the code for Alucard’s human form first though. Wolf will be next after it.
 
Next up on the list: WYVERN!
 
As usual feel free to make any and all donations to esco1979@cfl.rr.com via Paypal.
 
BTW I try to send everyone a quick thank you email when they do, but sometimes for the oddest reason it returns an undeliverable mail error. So if you don’t get one, don’t think I forgot you. And know that I really appreciate the contributions more than typed words on a page can say.
 
Stay  tuned for more updates, including one very soon showing off the collision engine in Unity including moving platforms, vanishing platforms, slopes, jump through platforms, spinning platforms, water, quicksand, Alucard’s animations, and his new attack cancelling system, that allows for combos, etc.
Posted in candles, etc.), items, Sprites (enemies | 30 Comments

DONATIONS NOW OPEN! Also a video of Pazuzu, Cyclops, and the color rotation/palette shader in use!

Well, I said I would never do it…. and I meant it with all of my heart. But the fact is paying for sprite work gets expensive fast! Just for Pazuzu & Cyclops alone I have easily spent over $500 of my own money! And with being a student, and a parent this would just get too pricey for me too fast to handle by myself. So I have opened up a paypal account, where anyone who wants to help out can send any and all cash donations.

The account is found under esco1979@cfl.rr.com. Please note that the email address is only for the paypal account that takes donations, and will not receive incoming messages.

Any and all donations would be really appreciated, but I have to ask everyone who wants to help to please try not to make it less than $5-$10 if possible. The reason is because less than that sadly wouldn’t help since one animation set can cost around $300. I really hate having to even do this, but the fact is that I just couldn’t afford to keep having new sprites done without getting a little help here.

ALL FUNDS WILL GO TOWARDS SPRITE WORK AND NOTHING ELSE!!!! I WILL REGULARLY BE SHOWING VIDS & PICS OF WHAT IS DONE AS WELL, AND ONCE THE SOURCE TO THE ENGINE IS RLEASED ALL SPRITES AND ANIMATIONS WILL ALSO BE MADE PUBLIC FOR ANY AND ALL USE!

For those of you who would like to see what I have so far I have included 3 videos below so that you see the level of quality that is going into the new sprites! One is of the Cyclops, the other is of Pazuzu/Leviathan (and includes the new boss coffin), and the last is a video of the color palette/rotation shader being used in Unity. This allows me to perfectly duplicate all of the special color and palette effects from the original SOTN.

PLEASE NOTE: the Cyclops and pazuzu vids are ONLY to show off their animations; this means there are almost no flames, particles, dust, projectiles, or other such effects shown as of yet. But they will be done in game to make these look even more amazing!

All sprites were done by Mario Santos; a very skiled artists who has been a HUGE help to me.

The shader was done by jonne_nathan; a very talented programmer who has helped me immensely!

For those wondering, the next sprite on the list to be done is Alucard’s wolf form: Alucard Wolf Compare5The reason it is being redone is because the old one looks robotic, and has a TON of issues from a programming perspective as well. I will not be redoing any of alucard’s other animations.

OTHER PLANNED ONES: new bosses/enemies like Wyvern, Behemoth, Dullahan, Final Guard, and also additional Animations for existing enemies/bosses like Blue Robed Death, Slogra, Warg, Plate lord, Akomodan, Medusa, etc. Also animations and full weapon sets for player characters like the new Richter, Maria, and Axe Armor Captain!

Cyclops Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPwkwRWwc6M&list=UUkDftMVgdC8Fpwbb-PtYp2A

Pazuzu Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8TIdN_igDM&list=UUkDftMVgdC8Fpwbb-PtYp2A

Color Effects Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAkwZKJSAZw&list=UUkDftMVgdC8Fpwbb-PtYp2A

Posted in Sprites (enemies, items, candles, etc.), Videos | 26 Comments

UPDATE: 8/16/14 – GM/Unity, donations for sprites, progress and some new boss sprites:

Well, its been several months since I’ve updated this blog. And while I’m sorry for any of the riots, fires, looting, and acts of suicide committed by women who threw themselves to their deaths in a fit of sorrow due to this, the fact is I’ve been busy enjoying my summer too much to update here! However, with University classes starting up again, I will now have a lot less social time going on, which means more updates on here for all of the fans of my project!!!!

The other HUGE reason behind the lack of updates has been this: for some time now progress on the Engine has been going MUCH slower than I wanted it to. And that is for one reason: GAMEMAKER! With the constant buggy updates, all of the internal glitches they call “intentional features,” and how just absolutely counter intuitive their system for debugging and testing is, it has majorly impeded my progress! It had gotten to the point where I was either a)going to have to abandon the project until GM improved SIGNIFICANTLY and fixed all the issues or b)I was going to have to find an alternative engine to use.

I will save you all the suspense  and tell you up front there was NO WAY in hell I was putting my engine on hiatus; that’s how things get abandoned and it just wasn’t an option to me! So instead, around Late May I picked up Unity3d and begin the gargantuan Mandingo cock sized endeavor of learning it. And I haven’t been happier since!!! It’s 2d features new as they are, are truly amazing! I spent several months experimenting and learning a lot of things in the engine. Including how to setup the camera, mecanim animations, learning a good amount of C# to code with, the different commands and features I had available to me, etc. It truly is an amazing program, and like a dream come true for me compared to hacking it in MHS, or coding it in GM!

In short, YES THE RUMORS ARE TRUE, I HAVE MOVED THE ENGINE OVER TO UNITY3D!! In fact, I have managed to not only code in all of Alucard’s animations, and basic weapons, but I have also coded in the graphics for over 15 enemies, one new boss, countless effects and attacks, and I have even had someone VERY talented create a shader for me that allows me to change color palettes, and duplicate the rotating color effect from SOTN (a HUGE thanks to him for this!) And all of this got done while taking into account that I had to actually learn Unity and experiment in it, work, gym, daddy time, going out, etc. It is truly amazing how much quicker Unity lets me get things done easily, efficiently and very bug free compared to GM. I will never, EVER go back to GameMaker, and I wish Unity had implemented 2d features so much sooner!!!!!

I am now in the process of learning collisions, and becoming more acquainted with CG shader coding, as well as the particle systems in unity! Not only will knowing these things let me do a LOT more for the project on my own, but they will also help me in my real life studies when it comes time to start working on getting some certifications!!!

In other news, I have found a very reliable, and VERY talented sprite artist who managed to so far remake:

  1. The Cyclops (50%complete)
  2. Pazuzu/Leviathan (done!)
  3. The Boss Casket from CV3 (done!)

The new sprites can be found on my deviantart blog here: http://esco1979.deviantart.com/

Next up on the todolist will be the Wyvern! With that being said though, just getting pazuzu’s animations all done cost me over $250!!! That means that this is going to get very pricey VERY fast. So even though I never wanted to do it, I will shortly be making a post directing people as to where they can send donations to assist on offsetting the cost of getting these sprites done!!! Believe me when I say that any and all donations will be VERY appreciated!

First however I intend to put up a video showing several of the new animations done! Just so people can see that the level of quality that has gone into them, and confirm for themselves that the sprites will fit in with the others from SOTN! As they saying: seeing is believing!!!

Stay tuned for that info, along with any other updates here, & on the Deviantart blog!!! Thanks again to all of the fans of this project!!!!! It really is great to see how many people are really looking forward to this!

 

Posted in General | 17 Comments

Teleporter Room: completed (video included)

Just like the title says; this is just a quick video of the teleporter room in my engine. You will notice that Alucard goes from a room with a horse face in the background to another room with a horse face in the background. This is not a mistake, due to how teleporters are now used in the engine and how there is a stage system implemented.  The other teleporter rooms will be used in game for their own counterpart teleporters. (NOTE: there is no sound in the video)

On a quick side note: I love how the superior additive blending in GM over the psx makes the arms on the statues in the background appear to glow slightly as the screen is whited out. Adds a small, but more realistic touch to it.

Posted in General, Videos | 29 Comments